Boca residents are out making a difference! According to The Palm Beach Post, best friends Ryan Saddler and Evan Loesel will never forget the look on an elderly woman’s face as they left the Florida Keys.
The Boca Raton teens toted wheelbarrows full of Donna’s belongings from her house, slated for demolition because of heavy damage from Hurricane Irma.
She sifted through the deliveries of her life’s memories. What to keep. What to throw away.
“I wish we could have stayed longer and helped more,” Saddler said. “I was shocked and saddened during the trip — particularly that almost four months had gone by and in places, it still looked like a bomb went off. There was so much garbage and waste.”
Also, according to The Palm Beach Post, Saddler and Loesel were two of 19 college and high school students who spent the first week of 2018 on a mission trip to the Keys. They worked at five different places in the three days, finishing the first three projects. The third day was emotional because they were unable to complete the last two relief efforts.
The kids were heartbroken when we had to say goodbye, and the four-hour ride home was a somber one,” said Kerry Cerra, who organized the mission. “During our wrap-up session that night, before we all went our separate ways, some of the kids talked about the guilt of going back to their own safe, warm, comfortable homes, knowing that so many in the Keys wouldn’t have that same luxury for a very long time to come.”
Cerra and her husband Shawn, of Coral Springs, have been leading missions for six years (usually on 10-day trips) to different locations across the country. But this shorter trip was “by far emotionally the hardest trip ever,” she said.
According to The Palm Beach Post, the group worked all day, played games at night (most of the students play sports and are competitive), and gave witness talks. The Cerras had discussion questions prepared, which brought the students closer. They ended every single night with affirmations, where the kids gave beads to others and stated why they’re giving them the bead for that day.
Keep up the amazing work, Ryan and Evan!